- Paperback: 976 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (October 16, 1981)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465016731
- ISBN-13: 978-0465016730
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry
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From the Back Cover
This classic work is a monumental, integrated view of man's search for an understanding of the inner reaches of the mind. In an account that is both exhaustive and exciting, the distinguished psychiatrist and author demonstrates the long chain of development that led to the fruition of dynamic psychiatry in the psychological systems of Janet, Freud, Adler, and Jung.
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Top customer reviews
As most everyone knows, Freud discovered the unconscious, right? Wrong. Henri Ellenberger’s massive The Discovery of the Unconscious reveals that theories of the unconscious pre-date Freud by at least a century. Ellenberger describes in detail the very rich theories of the unconscious of Carus and von Hartman as well as the changing fortunes of theories of hypnosis including the work of Mesmer, Puysegur, Bergheim and Charcot. Unlike many histories of psychology, Ellenberger has a deep appreciation of how political and economic circumstances weave themselves into, under and around the field of psychology in shaping what it becomes. Ellenberger is not afraid to bring in insights into unconscious which is present in the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche; the music of Schubert, and the literature of the double in the 19th century. An added bonus is a long chapter on the work of Pierre Janet. I must say that after reading this chapter I found Janet to be more than equal to Freud. This book has wonderful discussions in its footnotes. It written in a scholarly way but uses terms that could be understood by the lay educated person. The first half of the book covers the 18th and 19th centuries. The second half of the book covers the unconscious in the 20th century.. My only disappointment is that he did not include how the use of the five senses changed historically from touch and hearing in the Middle Ages to the rise of sight in the 18th century as documented by Constance Classen. Overall this is a terrific a terrific book.